Park in Overdrive at Samsung

By Sports NetworkOctober 15, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Samsung World ChampionshipPALM DESERT, Calif. -- Grace Park continued her scoring frenzy at Bighorn Golf Club on Friday with a 5-under 67 to open a four-shot advantage after the second round of the Samsung World Championship. Park's 36-hole total of 15-under-par 129 was good for a new tournament record.
 
Karen Stupples and Shi Hyun Ahn fired matching rounds of 65 to climb into a tie for second place at 11-under-par 133. Annika Sorenstam, a three-time champion of this event, posted a 68 to join Lorena Ochoa, Cristie Kerr and Catriona Matthew at 10-under-par 134.
 
Park set a new tournament mark with her 62 in the opening round and the 25- year-old picked up where she left off on Friday with a birdie at the par-4 first.
 
She ran off a string of pars before a birdie at the par-3 sixth to move to 12 under. Park faltered to a bogey at the par-5 seventh, but managed to recover with a birdie at the par-4 ninth.
 
As her challengers were starting to close in, Park tallied a birdie at the par-5 12th and another at the par-3 13th. Park then made it three in a row with a birdie at the par-4 14th.
 
'I played solid today,' said Park, who won this year's Kraft Nabisco Championship. 'I feel like I could birdie every hole on this course, the way I've been striking the ball and putting.'
 
Park's 129 broke the previous record of 132. Emilee Klein established the original mark in the 1996 event and Kerr matched it in 2002.
 
Stupples, who won this year's Women's British Open, collected her first birdie of the day at the par-4 fourth and birdied three straight starting at the par-5 seventh to make the turn at 8 under.
 
The 31-year-old added a birdie at the par-4 11th and reached 10 under with a birdie at the par-4 14th. Stupples then birdied the par-4 closing hole for her share of second.
 
Ahn torched the front side with six birdies. The 20-year-old cooled off on the inward half, but snuck in a birdie at the last to finish four shots off the lead.
 
Sorenstam, who is seeking her sixth victory of the season, birdied the third and added another birdie at the sixth. She then eagled the par-5 seventh and tallied a birdie at the par-5 12th to reach 11 under.
 
The Swede parred her next five holes, but found trouble coming in with a bogey at the 18th to finish five back.
 
Defending champion Sophie Gustafson carded a 70 to finish alone in eighth place at 8-under-par 136. Juli Inkster and Jeong Jang followed at 7-under-par 137 while Christina Kim was one shot further back at 6-under-par 138.
 
Karrie Webb and Mi Hyun Kim tied for 12th place at 4-under-par 140. Wendy Doolan and Jennifer Rosales were knotted at 3-under-par 141 and Hee-Won Han took 16th place alone at 1-under-par 143.
 
Se Ri Pak and Meg Mallon shared 17th place at 1-over-par 145. Amateur sensation Michelle Wie managed a 72 to come in at 2-over-par 146 while Laura Davies rounded out the elite field at 3 over par.
 
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.